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Mexico's new drug laws - reasonable or destructive?

Its anyone's guess.

The LA Times is reporting that Mexican President Fox will sign a bill into law that legalizes possession of small quantities of all drugs. The law will make Mexico the most relaxed country when it comes to drug law enforcement. Pot, coke, LSD, shrooms, peyote, eX ... its all good, as long as you are over the age of 18 and are holding less than the legal limit. More here.

I think this law is a double-edged sword. On one side, you have the commitment to fighting smuggling and a return of power to cops and judges. The sellers are in the crosshairs now, and they know it. When the cops are totally focused on all the little guys far away from the source, the jails fill quickly and prices go up, making the real hardcore addicts desperate. The black market is what generates crime. The new law will focus on treatment programs instead of jail for the addicts.

That is a good thing, I think. They are sick and need medical and psychological help, not a concrete cell. However, for a few years, drug use is going to go WAY up in Mexico. It is likely to cause a sort of artificial panic in the states. The "narco-tourism" business will become a big industry for them. But as long as it can be controlled and regulated, theoretically violent crime would go down. It is observable in other nations with lax drug laws.

It will help the Mexican economy through tourism dollars. Quite a few Americans go to Holland for their hash bars, and their society has actually benefited because of it. Furthermore, after a few years of increased use in the country, the ratio of people who've used drugs to those who do not actually went down to levels lower than in the U.S. What does that say to you?

The forbidden fruit appeal is real. Making it illegal actually increases the demand. Strange how human-kind works like that.

But, in the end, it is anyone's guess as to how this law will affect not only the Mexican society, but Mexican-American relations. I'm sure the state reps in border zones will start ringing the fear bells. This is probably that "last straw" that will tip the scales toward the infamous "border wall." That is going to be super-duper expensive. But, if you can scare people enough with fallacious logic, it is likely to go through. Especially if Perry wins in Texas this November.

I'd like to put this out there: we should take a wait and see attitude. Protect our border, sure, but let's find out if this actually works. Before the decade is out, we could see a much improved Mexico because of this. Or, it could go the other way ... Especially if the cops are as corrupt as I've read. We'll see.

In the mean time, I'll vote for any politician who emphasizes treatment programs over jail for American addicts. It is time to stop the bleeding, and we need doctors, not jailers, to do that.

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